Armanshahr / OPEN ASIA (Afghanistan)
CCR – Center for Constitutional Rights (USA)
(The Hague, Kabul, New York) After a decade-long preliminary examination, the International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor today gave formal notice she will submit a request to open an investigation into the situation in Afghanistan. Our organisations welcome this decision and urge the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber to grant the forthcoming request, which will finally allow for impunity for international crimes committed in Afghanistan since May 2003 to be addressed. An FIDH delegation of Afghan civil society and a US human rights defender travelled to The Hague in April and September 2017. They met with representatives of the ICC to call for accountability for the ongoing international crimes committed by all parties on the territory of Afghanistan.
“Generations have suffered from the international crimes that have been committed in Afghanistan, where there is neither peace nor any genuine accountability process, including before the domestic courts. The situation in Afghanistan is still not changing. Now it’s the time for the ICC to step in.” FIDH Vice-President and Armanshahr/OPEN ASIA Executive Director, Guissou Jahangiri
The ICC Prosecutor will seek authorisation from the ICC Pre-Trial judges to open an investigation into crimes against humanity and war crimes committed by all parties. In her last report on preliminary examinations of November 2016, the Prosecutor said her Office was about to take a decision on whether to open an investigation into international crimes allegedly committed by the Taliban and affiliated armed groups, the Afghan authorities, and members of the US military forces and the CIA since 1 May 2003 on the territory of Afghanistan, and since 1 July 2002 on the territory of other States Parties to the ICC Statute. The alleged crimes include: murder; persecution; gender crimes; intentionally directing attacks against humanitarian personnel and against protected objects; conscription of children; and sexual violence. The formal notice made public today confirmed these parameters for the investigation
“The opening of a comprehensive investigation into the Afghanistan situation would be the first time that US nationals from the military, the CIA, or private contractors could be held criminally accountable for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Afghanistan or at other locations where detainees arrested in Afghanistan were tortured. This long overdue message that no one is above the law is particularly important now, as the Trump administration ramps up military machinations in Afghanistan and embraces endless war with no plan for an end in sight.” Senior Staff Attorney at the US human rights NGO, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), Katherine Gallagher
 Refer to our organisations’ press release of 13 April 2017, “Human rights groups call for the opening of an ICC investigation into the situation in Afghanistan”.